Signs to Remember: A Local Hero’s Legacy Lives On Through Park Memorial

by Christina Krenek

Memorials help keep our history alive by commemorating and educating people about significant individuals, events and accomplishments that have made an everlasting impact. As we observe Memorial Day, this special time is all about honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, their loved ones and our freedom.

To honor a local military hero and bring his story to life, the City of Fort Walton Beach, Florida and the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce created a local community trail: “The Bud and Dorie Day Patriots’ Trail.” Colonel Bud Day was one of the most decorated service members in U.S. military history. His 35-year military career spanned across World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War where he served various branches as a pilot and colonel. He was awarded both the Medal of Honor and the Air Force Cross.

The story of Col. Bud Day and his wife, Dorie, is now displayed along a half-mile, serene walkway using a series of memorial signs. Dick Marks, owner of FASTSIGNS of Fort Walton Beach/Destin, and his team worked with Bud Day’s daughter to create the memorial signs and custom plaques for the community trail, which share the various stages of Bud’s career, accomplishments and home life. There are three site signs at the entry, five directional signs and 18 historical plaques.  

Take a virtual walk through Bud and Dorie Day’s memorial trail:

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As we honor our fallen military servicemen and women, we know their legacies, sacrifices and stories live on through memorials just like these.